The journey of personal growth by design begins within us and our minds. It begins with mastering the skill of self-awareness and applying it to every area of our lives. I have come to understand through my many years of coaching entrepreneurs, business people, corporate clients, and even myself that life is like a school. There are stages we must go through and lessons we must learn. We will meet mentors to teach and guide us and we will take life’s exams during hardships and in decision-making situations. Have you observed the way of the butterfly? It lives by design. Before it blooms into a butterfly, it is an egg; insignificant, unhatched and with undiscovered potential. But as time progresses, it grows by design into a larva, a pupa and finally an adult butterfly. At every stage, we see how the butterfly evolves based on its strength, its environment and such. Everything we are going through is a process to achieve something larger than ourselves. I have come to understand that the growth we attain could come about in two ways. I have witnessed the journey of transformation in the lives of so many people and no two journeys look the same. What stands out though is that there are two major ways by which these individuals grow – either by default or by design.
Personal growth and development is by design. The term growth here is what I define as the process of making decisions, whereas development is the action of implementing the decisions. American psychologist, Maslow, gives a definition for self-actualization which is one objective of personal growth: “The desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”
Given the four core areas of the human being- intellectual, professional, social and physical – there are 4 possible areas of our lives that need personal growth (DanSilvestre.com).
When we step into the phase of awakening at any point in our lives, work or business, we begin to feel the need to find and grow ourselves. In this phase, we must go beyond awareness into asking the right questions, making the best decisions that align with who we are and driving our development by taking action.
To grow by design means to understand with intention to develop a passion, skill or to make a choice that will begin your journey of making something transformational happen. Your core skills do not need to change or may not change. When you identify something new, you develop it and align it with your core skills. Some of the skills include analytical thinking, critical thinking, reasoning, marketing, reading novels, sports, body building, etc.
The will to begin the journey of personal growth and development could start at any point in time in our lives. We may naturally feel the need to take this step of personal growth or be triggered to do so after reading an inspirational book or perhaps after going through a trying phase in life, love, work or business.
The decisions we make in our professional and personal relationships. Sometimes, the journey of growth and development requires that we let go of certain habits and relationships, and other times, it demands that we hone a new skill or improve that which we already have.
In more common cases, we grow by default. Growth by default may kick start in work environments and organizations. As we complete tasks daily, we identify certain fresh skills and talents. The requirements of our jobs can push us to also take up new soft skills and technical skills and polish them. It is also by this process that we find our deepest frustrations push us to start our own journeys as entrepreneurs. The more skills you acquire, the more likely you are to outgrow your current job position, relationships and habits. It is a consistent learning curve that requires you to learn the right things. Growth by default can be tricky. Far too many people, consumed by their jobs, have lost themselves and neglected their personal growth. They only learn from mistakes and miss out on learning before mistakes. Growth by default in most cases also relies solely on talent whereas growth by design takes advantage of both character and talent.
Our potential for personal growth and development is endless. How can we by design get our mind into a place of awareness, come up with consistent plans, choose growth and take action to develop? With the help of these 4 keys, you can begin to stimulate your personal growth:
- Self Awareness
Self-awareness should not only be seen as an abstraction but an action. It is an effort to gain cognizance of your personality, your thoughts, your beliefs and your emotions including your strengths and your weaknesses. To be self-aware means to pay attention to your thoughts and action. Only then can you highlight areas of your life that need to be developed. You cannot change what you do not know and you cannot grow what you do not know. It all begins with gaining clarity about who you are!
Decisioning is a skill most people shy away from out of fear of making the wrong choice. However, even worse than making the wrong choice is allowing our will and freedom to choose to be paralyzed by fear. The skill and art of decisioning begins with your values and character. Decisioning essentially begins with asking ‘WHY’ and going through a process to answer ‘WHY’. Your decisions must align with not only who you are but the person you are working to be. Remember that the journey is one of growth. Hence the goal is always to be a better version of yourself. Are my choices going to make me better? What could possibly happen if I make this choice? These are a few questions to ask yourself on a daily basis. Jim Rohn summarizes the goal of decision-making brilliantly: “Most importantly, remember that truly ‘wrong’ decisions in life are rare. Rather, each choice has a corresponding consequence. Some of these consequences may seem positive, some may seem negative, but ultimately none of them are really ‘wrong’ for us. (Except destructive choices that result in harm to yourself or another. Those I would consider definitely bad or wrong choices.”
However in a general sense, every decision we make simply moves us down a particular path in life. If we later decide we do not like that path, we do have the power to choose another direction. Yet even the paths we decide we do not like to have something positive to offer us. We learn and grow in wisdom with every decision. We get to know ourselves better and better, and each decision we make later will be more in line with who we truly are, and the lives we want to create for ourselves.
Growth continues with making a decision but development comes about through action. After you know ‘why’ you want to do something, to get it done, you must know how to. Which way best aligns with your intentions and who you are? The modification begins once you start to take persistent and consistent action. Is it the skill of pitching you are trying to hone? Go at it every day! You can either begin with watching videos and practicing or getting someone experienced in that field to coach you. The method you choose comes back to who you are and which learning method aligns with your personality.
Once you begin with self-awareness, the journey must continue daily. Personal growth and development do not have time frames and there is no end to it. There is always more to achieve, beginning internally and expressing it outwardly through your decisioning and actions.
More important than knowing about it or reading about it is being able to live it. There is a whole world out there to discover in our life, love, work and business and as we grow into better people, we outgrow old things. In every season, whether by design or by default, ask yourself what you are supposed to learn from the experience to grow.
Growth is not an event, an idea, a concept or a thing in trend. It is a lifestyle, and day in day out, we will find ourselves in situations that will force us to grow. In other cases, we will find ourselves in situations that will influence us to sit, think, design a system or structure that will help us to grow. Either way, the opportunities to grow can be found all around us. We must only be present, listen to what is happening around us, see ways to take up opportunities, tune our minds to design for ourselves a path to growth and we will come out on the winning side. After we have identified the need to grow and decided that we will make efforts towards growing, we have to be intentional about growing. It is only by doing that we can achieve what we set out to do. It is by adapting to change that we grow. Are you ready for the transformation?
Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION?
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Personal Impact, Professional Growth and Influence Expert specializing in Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power – H.E.L.P.
A career spanning over two decades, she has established herself as a Certified High Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Wellness Expert and award-winning Entrepreneur with a clientele ranging from C-Suite Executives, Senior Management, Practitioners and Sales Leaders spanning 3 continents.
She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; a premier lifestyle business group with brand subsidiaries that include Dzigbordi Consulting Group& Allure Africa.
She is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Ghana having being named “CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year” in 2009; “Top 10 most respected CEOs in Ghana, 2012; Global Heart of Leadership Award and, Women Rising “100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women”, 2017. She has also been featured on CNN.
She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and @dzigbordi across all social media platforms.